The Negro: the southerners problem (1904)

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He belongs to the only true aristocracy, the race of white men. He black no masters boots, and bows the knee to no one save God alone. He receives higher wages for his labor than does the laborer of any other portion of the world, and he raises up his children with the knowledge, that they belong to no inferior cast, but that the highest members of the society in which he lives, will, if their conduct is good, respect and treat them as equals.

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  • Thus in the minds of these Southern nationalists, the destruction of slavery would not merely mean the loss of property but the destruction of white equality, and thus of the peculiar Southern way of life :. If the policy of the Republicans is carried out, according to the programme indicated by the leaders of the party, and the South submits, degradation and ruin must overwhelm alike all classes of citizens in the Southern States.

    Slaveholders were not modest about the perceived virtues of their way of life. In the years leading up to the Civil War, calls for expansion into the tropics reached a fever pitch, and slaveholders marveled at the possibility of spreading a new empire into central America :. Looking into the possibilities of the future, regarding the magnificent country of tropical America, which lies in the path of our destiny on this continent, we may see an empire as powerful and gorgeous as ever was pictured in our dreams of history.

    What is that empire? It is an empire founded on military ideas; representing the noble peculiarities of Southern civilization; including within its limits the isthmuses of America and the regenerated West Indies; having control of the two dominant staples of the world's commerce—cotton and sugar; possessing the highways of the world's commerce; surpassing all empires of the age in the strength of its geographical position; and, in short, combining elements of strength, prosperity, and glory, such as never before in the modern ages have been placed within the reach of a single government.

    What a splendid vision of empire! How sublime in its associations!

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    • How noble and inspiriting the idea, that upon the strange theatre of tropical America, once, if we may believe the dimmer facts of history, crowned with magnificent empires and flashing cities and great temples, now covered with mute ruins, and trampled over by half-savages, the destiny of Southern civilization is to be consummated in a glory brighter even than that of old, the glory of an empire, controlling the commerce of the world, impregnable in its position, and representing in its internal structure the most harmonious of all the systems of modern civilization.

      Perhaps even this is too subtle. I want Cuba, and I know that sooner or later we must have it. If the worm-eaten throne of Spain is willing to give it for a fair equivalent, well—if not, we must take it. I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason—for the planting and spreading of slavery.

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      And a footing in Central America will powerfully aid us in acquiring those other states. It will render them less valuable to the other powers of the earth, and thereby diminish competition with us. Yes, I want these countries for the spread of slavery. I would spread the blessings of slavery, like the religion of our Divine Master, to the uttermost ends of the earth, and rebellious and wicked as the Yankees have been, I would even extend it to them. I would not force it upon them, as I would not force religion upon them, but I would preach it to them, as I would preach the gospel.

      They are a stiff-necked and rebellious race, and I have little hope that they will receive the blessing, and I would therefore prepare for its spread to other more favored lands. Thus in , when the Civil War began, the Union did not face a peaceful Southern society wanting to be left alone.

      It faced an an aggressive power, a Genosha, an entire society based on the bondage of a third of its residents, with dreams of expanding its fields of the bondage further South.

      The negro: the southerner's problem

      It faced the dream of a vast American empire of slavery. In January of , three months before the Civil War commenced, Florida secessionists articulated the position directly:. At the South, and with our People of course, slavery is the element of all value, and a destruction of that destroys all that is property. This party, now soon to take possession of the powers of the Government, is sectional, irresponsible to us, and driven on by an infuriated fanatical madness that defies all opposition, must inevitably destroy every vestige or right growing out of property in slaves.

      Gentlemen, the State of Florida is now a member of the Union under the power of the Government, so to go into the hands of this party. Not yet. The first people to question that mythology were themselves Confederates, distraught to find their motives downplayed or treated as embarrassments.

      A Richmond-based newspaper offered the following :. It is an easy task, we think, to show up this new-fangled heresy — a heresy calculated to do us no good, for it cannot deceive foreign statesmen nor peoples, nor mislead any one here nor in Yankeeland. Even after the war, as the Lost Cause rose, many veterans remained clear about why they had rallied to the Confederate flag. Local self-government temporarily destroyed may be recovered and ultimately retained. The other thing for which we fought is so complex in its composition, so delicate in its breath, so incomparable in its symmetry, that, being once destroyed, it is forever destroyed.

      The kindliest relation that ever existed between the two races in this country, or that ever will, was the ante-bellum relation of master and slave—a relation of confidence and responsibility on the part of the master and of dependence and fidelity on the part of the slave. And in , the Confederate Veteran singled out one man for particular praise:. Great and trying times always produce great leaders, and one was at hand—Nathan Bedford Forrest.

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      His plan, the only course left open. A terrible government; a government that would govern in spite of black majorities and Federal bayonets. This secret government was organized in every community in the South, and this government is known in history as the Klu Klux Clan Here in all ages to come the Southern romancer and poet can find the inspiration for fiction and song.

      No nobler or grander spirits ever assembled on this earth than gathered in these clans. No human hearts were ever moved with nobler impulses or higher aims and purposes … Order was restored, property safe; because the negro feared the Klu Klux Clan more than he feared the devil. Its purpose had been fulfilled. Bedford Forrest should always be held in reverence by every son and daughter of the South as long as memory holds dear the noble deeds and service of men for the good of others on, this earth.

      Washington in this article. Booker Washington has been called of God and man to lead, and in which he has gained so rare a meed of success. LII pp. The white south is straining itself in many ways to aid education. The Negro is doing all he can to educate himself. The efforts of both are not adequate to the take. There is but one remedy: Government aid to southern education. XXX pp LXIX pp.

      LXXIV p. LXXV p.

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      The ideology and thoughts that appear in Page's writing and in Southern ideology are no mere simplistic, archaic world-view; they are part of a complex history that has informed, for worse and for better, the evolution of the Southern mind to today. Thomas Nelson Page lamented that the slavery-era "good old darkies" had been replaced by the "new issue" blacks born after slavery whom he described as "lazy, thriftless, intemperate, insolent, dishonest, and without the most rudimentary elements of morality" pp. Page, who helped popularize the images of cheerful and devoted Mammies and Sambos in his early books, became one of the first writers to introduce a literary black brute.

      In he published Red Rock , a Reconstruction novel, with the heinous figure of Moses, a loathsome and sinister black politician. Moses tried to rape a white woman: "He gave a snarl of rage and sprang at her like a wild beast" pp. He was later lynched for "a terrible crime". Page dealt with the morality of lynching by acquitting the mob from any guilt, holding, instead, the supposedly debased Negroes responsible for their own violent executions. Page expected his reader to read his entire book with care before making judgments on complex, difficult subjects, in accordance with a society that read in depth.

      The Negro: The Southerner's Problem - Thomas Page - Google книги

      In his words in his introduction:. In this discussion, one thing must be borne in mind: In characterizing the Negroes generally, it is not meant to include the respectable element among them, except where this is plainly intended. Throughout the South there is such an element, an element not only respectable, but universally respected.

      Lynching does not end ravishing, and that is the prime necessity The charge that is often made, that the innocent are sometimes lynched, has little foundation. The rage of a mob is not directed against the innocent, but against the guilty; and its fury would not be satisfied with any other sacrifices than the death of the real criminal. Nor does the criminal merit any consideration, however terrible the punishment. The real injury is to the perpetrators of the crime of destroying the law, and to the community in which the law is slain The crime of lynching is not likely to cease until the crime of ravishing and murdering women and children is less frequent than it has been of late.

      And this crime, which is well-nigh wholly confined to the Negro race, will not greatly diminish until the Negroes themselves take it in hand and stamp it out As the crime of rape of late years had its baleful renascence in the teaching of equality and the placing of power in the ignorant Negroes' hands, so its perpetuation and increase have undoubtedly been due in large part to the same teaching. The intelligent Negro may understand what social equality truly means, but to the ignorant and brutal young Negro, it signifies but one thing: the opportunity to enjoy, equally with white men, the privilege of cohabiting with white women.

      Likewise, Thomas Nelson Page complained that African American leaders should cease "talk of social equality that inflames the ignorant Negro," [14] and instead, work to stop "the crime of ravishing and murdering women and children. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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      February Befo' de War: Echoes in Negro Dialect poems. Two Little Confederates short novel for young readers. Among the Camps short stories for young readers. Elsket, and Other Stories short stories. On Newfound River novel. The Burial of the Guns short stories and one novella. Pastime Stories short stories. The Old Gentleman of the Black Stock novella.